Program > Monica Spiridon

- ACUME European Thematic Network -

Cultural Memory in
Geographical Peripheral European Countries

Malta, 7-9 May 2004

University of Bucharest

Monica Spiridon, professor of literary theory, comparative literature, semiotics and twentieth century European culture, University of Bucharest. Director of the Center for Communication Studies of the University of Bucharest.

 Member of the Executive Bureau of the International Comparative Literature Association and president of the ICLA Research Committee on Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Member of the Romanian Writers Union and of the international PEN CLUB. 

 Author of several books of and of chapters in books published in Germany, Italy, Canada, Greece, The Netherlands, France, Portugal, Poland, Hungary and the U.S. Member of the editorial board of the Review of National Literatures and World Report  (Published by the Council on National Literatures, New York) and of Synthesis (The Publishing House of the Romanian Academy). Liaison officer to Literary Research/Recherche litéraire, ICLA and the University of Western Ontario,  London, Canada.

Forthcoming books : La “Nymphe Europe". Apercu d’un Huron de L’Est, Paris: L’Harmattan, collection la Philosophie en commun, dirigée par Jacques Poulain et Patrice Vermeren, 2004; Cultural Frameworks: Real and Made-up Patterns, Bucharest, Ararat Publishing House, 2004.

 Member of the Steering Committee of the  ACUME project and coordinator of the sub-project 3: Spaces and Landscapes of Memory.


Borders: A View From The European Far East

Our paper will focus on the erratic meanings of the notion of border, exploring the ways in which communities locate borders, assign meaning to them and reassert their functions. The main emphasis will be placed on the negotiated nature of borders.
This analysis aims at a theoretical and a historical scrutiny of the peripheral East-European identities, since - due to the criss-crossing, subverting and reinventing borders -it is impossible to operate with a clear-cut definition of borders in this geopolitical area. We will illustrate this with a study of Romania, where at least four different meanings have been assigned to this notion:
1. Topographical borders (the polarity European versus non-European)
2. Geo-cultural borders (the tension Occident versus Orient.)
3. Temporal borders (the consciousness of the cultural belatedness of the area when compared to Western Europe and the subsequent opposition Modernity versus Tradition).
4. Political borders (the awareness of being "on the edge"between mighty empires) After the Second World War this particular border was physically embodied by the Iron Curtain.
The Romanian case study will represent proof of the complexity of the border issue in Eastern Europe over the last two centuries.